Most friends of mine rather work or personal, know the best conversation starter is the latest automotive news. Rather this be the unveiling of a new auto, or a factory closing in America. Anything auto related is a good topic to strike conversation with me. The past few weeks friends have brought up Pontiac, knowing this manufacture recently caught my liking since buying a late-model GTO in 2006.
My 2005 Pontiac GTO. Equipped with the Vette based LS2 motor boasting 400hp.
I'm sure most heard in the news of recent changes to be made with "the General". GM brought their latest plan to the table which they feel will carry them through these hard times. While some see potential for this company to carry on, some question if bankruptcy is a possibility as well.
Those of us closely tied to the industry new Hummer has been for sale for sometime and if not sold, would go away. Saab was inevitably going on the sale block as in my opinion GM never should have bought it in the first place. I will say the slashing of Saturn was a mild surprise, but made sense. Out of the five models in Saturn's line up, two are re-badged GM's while the other three are re-badged Opals and/or Vauxhalls from Europe. The one real shocker among the recent news was the ax being taken to the Pontiac line.
To many Pontiac is just another of the many lines put out by the biggest kid on the block. It fell somewhere around Oldsmobile and Buick to most. Little know about the history of this moniker and how it has always maintained the performance side of the GM roster.
While the name first came about with the Pontiac Spring & Wagon Works, it was not used by GM until 1926. It was created as a companion line to the Oakland Motor Car. Over the years Pontiac fought to separate itself from the pack bringing us such cars as the "Tri-power" '57 Bonneville, the Tempest and the famed Pontiac GTO. While many may argue, I see Pontiac as one of the top cars to make the muscle car segment in this country what it is today.
A beautiful sample of a 1st generation Pontiac Bonneville.
Bob Lutz is a big reason why Pontiac has come full circle in recent years. He knew the value and reputation of the Pontiac name. While most know his push behind the Chevrolet Volt and Camaro, the masses don't know how much his heart was with Pontiac. He knew this line could go to bat with the likes of BMW, Audi and more. In my opinion it was a success and I thank him for fighting to keep the line alive.
I fell in love with American cars all over with my '05 Goat. What better deal to get a modern mid-size car with creature comforts and a 400hp LS2 Corvette motor. I stepped into this car after my 540i BMW left me on the road stranded 2 times in as many months!
My heart even more so fell for the recently released Pontiac G8 GT. Pontiac turned to Holden (GM's counterpart in Australia) for help on the new full size car for the arrowhead moniker. The G8 used the beautiful Zeta platform architecture found under the Holden Commodore and recently released Chevrolet Camaro. They packed it with a 6.0 motor and either a GM 6-speed auto or 6-speed manual from Tremec (see blog entry The Great G8) . Here is a car that gives a BMW 550i a run for its money, yet has gone largely unnoticed by the masses.
Pontiac will go down in history with Oldsmobile, Plymouth, Eagle, Geo and DeLorean as a car maker no more, but I know after the end of 2010 this name will long live on in all gearhead's memory.
Little known fact; the Pontiac name was taken from an American Chief.
Chief Pontiac was an Ottawa leader most famous for his role in Pontiac's Rebellion (1763-1766). This was an American Indian struggle against the British military occupation of the Great Lakes region.